Top mental health campaigners to open CUBO Res Life event

Award-winning mental health campaigners Jonny Benjamin MBE and Neil Laybourn will open next year's CUBO Residence Life Conference at Loughborough

At the age of 20 Jonny was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, a combination of schizophrenia and bipolar. He began making films on YouTube about the condition that have been watched by hundreds of thousands of people.

Jonny now speaks publicly about living with mental illness and has written articles and given various interviews on TV, Radio around the world to help educate and break stigma. He has also produced and presented documentaries on BBC and Channel 4 on the subjects of mental health and suicide.

His 2014 social media campaign with Rethink Mental Illness to #findMike, the man who talked him out of jumping off a bridge when he was suicidal, went viral and led to Jonny becoming a prominent spokesperson on the subject of suicide.

Mental health and suicide prevention are areas we’re incredibly passionate about. We know the difference that help and intervention can make when someone is struggling with their mental health and also that suicide is not inevitable, therefore we have to do all we can to prevent it

What followed was an emotional meeting with Neil Laybourn and the beginning of a journey where both men united to campaign around the issues of both mental health and suicide, which is now the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK.

The story of their journey was made into a TV documentary, The Stranger on the Bridge, which aired on Channel 4 and had a meaningful impact on millions of viewers. The documentary has won a number of awards and is currently being aired internationally.

Jonny commented: “Mental health and suicide prevention are areas we’re incredibly passionate about. We know the difference that help and intervention can make when someone is struggling with their mental health and also that suicide is not inevitable, therefore we have to do all we can to prevent it.”

In 2018, Jonny and Neil received honorary degrees from the University of Bristol in recognition of their work.

The CUBO Residence Life Conference and Awards takes place on the 7 & 8 May 2019 at Loughborough University.

For details visit: www.universityhospitality.co.uk